7 Steps to Overcoming Shyness

People who know me today have no idea how shy and reserved I was throughout my early years. Life being what it is, I was invited to learn how to act as if I was not shy in certain situations, enabling me to thrive while others looked on. Now, no one could imagine my being shy, though I am still that shy young man inside, I am able to carry myself as though I am not.

If you’re like me, there is hope for you, too. Keep in mind that being shy is not a bad thing. In fact, just like these massively successful shy people, it can be your superpower. Like these celebrities, learning how to harness your presence in a way to not let your shyness hinder your potential is of great benefit in all that you do.

First of all, you have to understand that people who are looking at you are not as critical as you might think (this is a common misconception among shy people). While no one is suggesting that you not be shy at all, you will gain much self esteem and confidence from being able to master your shyness so that others need not even think that you are a shy person.

This gives you great confidence in challenging circumstances, and while you may have said, “Oh, I could never do that,” in the past, as you become more adept at controlling your public persona, you will find many opportunities unfolding before you as you hone your skills. Things that may have seemed impossible before, now are worth considering as potential possibilities.

This will take a degree of concerted effort on your part, just like I had to do, but know that it is so worth it.

Here are 7 techniques you can practice on how to overcome shyness:

1. Feel Great

Every morning, as soon as you get up, get in front of a mirror and say out loud, “I feel great! I feel great! I feel great!” Repeat this affirmation with enthusiasm at least ten times every day until it’s ingrained into your subconscious mind. If you feel a little self conscious to begin with lock yourself in the bathroom. The results will amaze you.

2. Look the Part

Look your best. Dress up more often. This gives you an extra feeling of confidence and self esteem. Feel good about yourself. On its own, just knowing that you look good will boost your confidence and reinforce with those who see you in your day to day life, there are things about you that are worth getting to know.

3. Act the Part

We’re all pretty good at putting on our individual cloak of invisibility. I use a modeling technique where I put on an invisible cloak of the personality traits that I need to have for the situation at hand. I think of it as if I was hired as an actor to act out a part in front of cameras and/or a live audience. Before I go on stage, I simply don my cloak of the character I will be playing and proceed to play the part to the best of my ability. When I am finished, I can put the cloak away (which may be after the event, off-camera, depending on the circumstance) and re-charge myself from any stress or strain that may have been subdued during my performance.

4. Take Risks

Take a risk at least once a day. I encouraged my friends to dare me to do something they were afraid to do. It’s very invigorating and conquering fears by taking risks helps you grow in confidence and self esteem. Start with small risks and fears and as you overcome them move onto bigger things. There’s nothing you cannot do. Be confident in knowing that change can only help you grow, and boost your self confidence.

5. Consider Disclosure

When you are engaged in a one to one conversation, or with a larger group of people, let them know that you’re shy. This prevents them from misreading you and they are far more likely to invite you into the conversation rather than leave you just listening and wishing you could contribute.

Many people, me included, find following a conversation in a noisy room difficult. If you are having difficulty – say so – and move so that you can hear. People respect honesty, and vulnerability and you will attract more honest people into your life as a result.

If you are finding yourself uncomfortable in a public speaking-type of venue, just announce that you are uncomfortable and inexperienced in the beginning and ask for people to consider not judging too harshly because you are so passionate, you want to share your message regardless of your public presentation expertise. They will honor your ability to take on such a challenge and listen more intently.

6. Reject Fear of Rejection

Rejection is a fact of life that everyone experiences. It is rarely you that is being rejected. If you are rejected, for example if you ask someone for a date, remember that everyone has different likes and dislikes. You may be attracted to one type of person and not others. The same applies to other people and you are probably just not their type. That does not devalue you in any way. Accept this and know that you will get over it. Never take it personally and keep in mind that if people reject you it is because of their own likes and dislikes and not because of whom you are. You are equally entitled to reject others because of your likes and dislikes.

7. Take Action

Engage in activities that make you feel excited and good about yourself or start a hobby that gives you a feeling of relaxation. This could be anything from gardening to Tai Chi to Karate. Take some lessons, dance, learn or master a musical instrument or take singing lessons.

Volunteer for activities that you feel like you’re just too shy to consider. Practice, practice, practice. Do something that excites you and may feel a little risky.

Exploring things that you are passionate about or give you a sense of excitement is a great antidote for shyness.


Am I Too Shy to be Massively Successful?

Almost anyone can go through periods in their life of shyness, especially if life has caught them off-guard or if they’re in a position to question their worthiness.

Am I too shy to be massively successful

In the event that you see what may be perceived as shyness come and go, then you probably need to do some internal work on your self confidence. This will help you get back on track and in the flow of self-empowerment.

If it’s a condition that you stuggle with all of your life, day in, day out, you may be an introvert.

Contrary to belief, introverts are not shy but rather approach life and expression of self in a different way that extroverts.

To answer the question, “Am I too shy to be massively successful?” The answer is clearly, “No.”

In fact, you may be comparing yourself to the wrong folks. If you’re comparing yourself to the loud, boisterous, famous people who dominate the press and tabloids, then you would certainly feel inadequate if you think that this is what you need to act like if you desire success.

On the other hand, if you compare yourself to other introverts who have made huge contributions to our world, you realize that you are absolutely perfect just the way you are.

Abraham Lincoln was an introvert and struggling with self-consciousness did not prevent him from taking massive action for the world at large.

Consider these highly successful introverts:

Never too shy to be great albert einstein bill gates steven spielbergAlbert Einstein
Audrey Hepburn
Bill Gates
Charles Schwab
Christina Aguilera
Courteney Cox
Eleanor Roosevelt
Emma Watson
J.K. Rowling
Steve Wozniak
Steven Spielberg
Warren Buffet

Not bad to have your name among those on that list, right?

First off, you must realize that you are perfect just the way you are. You have certain attributes and special abilities that come naturally that otherwise would be difficult for others who are less sensitive to learn. For instance…

If you are an introverts you are more likely:


More cautious and are prone to be less reckless than their extroverted counterparts.


Able to avoid the spotlight (tabloids) and are less likely to receive negative press on the front page news.


Gifted with the ability to carry on meaningful conversations (not just idle chit-chat).


Make other people feel as though you really care and are actively listening.

Deeply Connect

Avoid small talk, have meaningful conversations and active listening.


To under promise and over-deliver, unlike extroverts who tend to overstate and fail to live up to expectations.


Since they can be content with spending time alone and away from the crowd, this gives them time to be more contemplative and creative than their peers.


Work productively in an organized space and manner.


Excel at conducting extensive research

In the corporate world it is not unusual to discover that the introvert who has worked his or her way up the internal hierarchy is considered the “secret weapon” of the organization.

They are highly valued yet do not seek praise or public recognition as they are more comfortable in a respected support position in the background.

In brainstorming sessions and mastermind meetings they are turned to following violent discourses where they sit silently and calmly and are asked, “What do you think?”

Alternatively, there are some things that you’re less likely to be good at. You don’t necessarily have to learn to act as if you are an extrovert, but you might consider expanding your skill set to include some of the things that come naturally to extroverts.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to engage in activities that you have never participated in before. Though this may be an uncomfortable challenge, think of it as learning to help others with similar inhibitions (because we’re more likely to be motivated to do something for someone les, than ourselves). Following the experience, you may be surprised to find it enjoyable or rewarding. Congratulations for getting ‘er done.

Consider getting more comfortable with:

  • Modeling others (try to “act like” someone you admire in a particular situation)
  • Dealing with problems (instead of avoiding them)
  • Tolerance (not judging others so much)
  • Public speaking & giving presentations
  • Networking in group settings
  • Becoming better in negotiations
  • Increasing your sales skills

Remember to take baby-steps toward your success. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. You could be easily overwhelmed and if too far outside your comfort zone, you might tend to bag the whole idea.

It’s better to be content with making a little progress every day (or regularly) than expecting to establish a high degree of competency overnight.

Reward yourself with solitude to recharge after engaging in a personal growth exercise and remember to love yourself because you are perfect just the way you are and totally well-equipped and poised for massive success!

Keep growing!

See you at the top.